Beginning tomorrow, commercial airline passengers should expect some changes in the way they’re screened before boarding.
Officials with the Transportation Security Administration – or TSA - say the changes are necessary to allow screeners to better focus on serious terrorist threats.
Passengers are now allowed to bring scissors with blades no longer than 4 inches…and screwdrivers less than 7 inches. Box cutters, ice picks, lighters, ninja-style throwing stars and tools with long cutting edges are still NOT permitted.
TSA spokeswoman - Lauren Stover – says the rule changes reflect security upgrades put into place since the September 11th terrorist attacks.
“We are now well beyond 911 where we’ve got layers of security in place. All of the cockpit doors have been hardened to protect against anyone gaining access to the cabin area. Scissors under 4 inches don’t pose the threat to us in civil aviation that they may have posed post 911.”
Stover says several recent studies found nearly a quarter of screeners’ time was being spent on these newly excluded items.
She says travelers should expect more additional screenings – like pat downs and shoe inspections…
“With these changes we want the public to know that they may be subject to more random searches and maybe some pat downs…if we find somebody’s wearing something very bulky that may be obscuring something. So just want people to understand that we’ve got new changes in place so our screeners can focus on the bigger threats, which are explosives.”
Some other holiday travel tips to keep in mind…don’t wrap carry-on presents in case they require inspection.
And because explosive detection systems used on checked bags can damage unprocessed film - be sure to pack it in carry-on luggage.
Wednesday, 21 December 2005 00:00
TSAWritten by WGCU Newsroom